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The modern reining horse’s roots date back to the bygone era of the Old West where horses were a vital part of every working livestock ranch. Horses needed to be sturdy, quick, responsive, and agile to be able to herd and move cattle and other livestock across the range. A reining competition essentially shows off the skills and athletic abilities necessary in the working ranch horse, but does so within the confines of a show pen and the movements you see in competition today have become extremely precise and highly refined.

There are a total of 13 approved official reining patterns, and horses exhibit individually-performing, compulsory movements which include small slow circles, large fast circles, flying changes of lead, roll-backs, quick 360-degree spins, and the ever-exciting sliding stops which have become the hallmark of the reining horse. Probably due to its exciting, fast-paced action and its accessibility for any breed of horse, coupled with its enriching programs for riders of all experience levels, the discipline of reining has enjoyed one of the fastest rates of growth, experiencing a 40% increase in worldwide participation in the last 10 years. There are currently over 700 approved reining competitions held annually, up from 265 just a decade earlier.

USA Reining

USEF International Discipline Association

From youth and amateur activities to open competition, USA Reining is the national governance organization for the western horse sport of reining within the USEF structure of equestrian sport. USA Reining works to provide an access point for interested fans and athletes, to educate, promote and develop the sport in the United States and to actively support the success of U.S. teams.

You can visit USA Reining at their website:


Steven Morrissey | [email protected] | 859-225-2052

Forms and Publications

Memo: Criminal Background Check Requirements

Memo regarding the new criminal background check requirements for athletes.

2019 FEI General Assembly Future of Reining Presentation

Slide show presented during the 2019 FEI General Assembly Session 1 regarding the Future of Reining in the FEI.

Memo Re: 2019 FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders

2019 FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders

Memo to Junior and Young Riders Re: Helmets

Memo to Junior and Young Riders Re: Helmets

2019 FEI General Rules

23rd edition, 1 January 2009, updates effective 1 January 2019

2019 FEI Reining Rules

5th Edition, effective 1st January 2016, Updates effective 1st January 2019

2019 FEI Veterinary Rules

13th Edition 2015, effective 1 January 2019